In my last post I mentioned mindfulness and presence as tools to bring you out of resistance and into moving forward with a task.
What exactly are mindfulness and presence? Ubiquitous buzzwords in the self-help and spiritual communities, they are often used interchangeably. Let’s take a look.
In the example of being hijacked by my resistance to finish a blog post, I stopped writing to check laundry, do dishes, and rearrange my workspace. Eventually, I became present (what’s happening in this very moment and why?), recognized my resistance and the associated “avoidance” activities, and returned to finish the post.
Had I been practicing mindfulness, I would have become aware and conscious that my urge to get up from the computer was an avoidance program kicking in and I would have nipped it in the bud and never got up in the first place. If I had stayed present with my writing, the other activities wouldn’t even occur to me.
This is just one example. I’m sure you’ve heard of mindful eating as a tool for weight management. Have you ever blown through a bag of chips or bowl of ice cream while watching TV? That is mindless eating. If you are mindful and present, it’s not likely that you’ll finish an entire bag of chips and wonder where they went.
Easier said than done? You bet! It takes practice, but the rewards are well worth it.
Your body is your subconscious mind. Memories are stored in your body. If something doesn’t “feel” right, often you don’t do it. The knot in your stomach, constriction in your throat, or pressure in your chest are indicators that your subconscious programs are kicking in. Pay attention! This is where your work is done.
What are your strategies for ignoring this resistance? Checking email or Facebook? Changing the laundry? Shopping or running errands? Doing dishes? Organizing your workspace? These are just a few examples of avoidance activities that hijack us when our subconscious programs engage.
It’s these very programs that are keeping you stuck – in fear, shame, guilt, not-enoughness. It all boils down to some variation of FEAR – fear of failure, fear of success, fear of humiliation, fear of wasting your time, fear of disapproval, fear, fear, fear of anything.
Does any of this resonate with you? While writing this I did three of the above avoidance activities – laundry, dishes, and changed my workspace. My subconscious patterns were hijacking me! What brought me back to writing? Mindfulness. Presence.
Stay tuned for more on mindfulness and presence.
One of my clients made this comment that I’m sure many can relate to: “I wish I could just eat, rather than strategize.”
Wait! Strategizing isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Doing anything well takes practice, discipline, and a strategy for incorporating it into your lifestyle.
Learning a language, playing an instrument, getting a degree – the better you want to be, the more you want to know, the more skill you want to achieve, the more practice and discipline are required.
It seems odd that we don’t make those same connections about eating, weight loss, and living a healthy lifestyle. What most people think they want is a better-than-average body, better-than-average health, and a better-than- average look in their clothes. That takes better-than-average focus. As long as you want to be better-than-average, you must put in that level of effort. It gets easier and more second nature, but still has to be tended. Music is a great analogy. When you practice more, you play better.
Your road to health and wellness is the same thing – like playing the perfect Bach. It takes consistent practice and attention.
I’m just sayin’